I understand why people like Miranda Devine are allowed to be columnists. They shock people — troll, if you will. They say things that are meant to pull readers in, make them angry, and then talk about it.

What angers me most about these shock columnists isn’t what they write, because it’s honestly a whole lot of stupidity based on false ‘facts’ and accusations, but it’s the effect they can have on people who their opinions are aimed at.

The visibility of gay teen suicide is on the rise, and these writers still feel that it’s OK to write negative things about how they don’t deserve to be treated like equals in this country and how the way they live their lives is wrong.

I wonder if Devine has ever read an article on gay suicide and thought for a second, “I could be contributing to this”, — that for some boy or girl out there, it could have been her words that tipped them over the edge.

I understand her position on same-sex marriage and I encourage debate on the issue as much as I loathe that we’re still having one. I think having our personal opinion is a part of what makes us human.

But to exploit that by pushing irrational and false claims is not only unfair to the people she is throwing them at.

It is unethical, it can be emotionally damaging, and it is wrong.

I will admit I’m quite a strong-willed person, but this week has been one where I’ve felt depressed at times. I read what she writes and it makes me feel — sad. And that is something no one should be proud of.

So this is my message to her: Miranda Devine, you need to realise this debate is not about politics, money, or cultural beliefs.

The debate about same-sex marriage is about people and their lives, and there are more than enough reasons to support it. If you can’t see that, then you truly are lost.

And I feel sorry for you.

By JESSE MATHESON

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